The Akwa Ibom Automobile Vehicle Assembling Plant in Itu Local Government Area is 99% completed, the Akwa Ibom State Government has declared.
Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon, who stated this while briefing the media as part of his annual End of the Year media Interactive Session said, contrary to what some segment of the public may think, the plant is ready and would be commissioned on schedule as all the components needed for the smooth take off of the plant is ready.
According to the Commissioner, Governor Udom Emmanuel remains passionately committed to completing and commissioning the plant on schedule and will leave no stone unturned towards the realization of these set objectives aimed at creating jobs and tackling unemployment in the State.
He regretted that majority of the public confuse a vehicle assembling plant to a vehicle manufacturing plant, stating that both are not the same.
“Everything to enable the automobile assembling plant carry out assembling of vehicles is ready.
“Note that there is a big difference between a vehicle assembling plant and a vehicle manufacturing plant.
“They are not the same. The assembling plant will receive completely knocked down components and couple them and for the Semi Knocked Down Components, SKD’s, you don’t need any other equipment than all the cranes that are on ground.
“When these components arrive from Israel, all what the plant will do is to fix it. All what we are waiting for is for the CKD’s and SKD’s to come from Israel”, he explained.
According to Hon Okon, many people mistake it for a car manufacturing plant and were expecting to see a lot of robots in motion, noting that such components only apply to a vehicle manufacturing plant but for an assembling plant, almost half of the job has been done in Israel as what is coming to Itu in Akwa Ibom State are just components that are to be assembled so that it becomes a vehicle.
He assured the state that the administration’s earlier plans to send the first batch of trainees to Israel to understudy and learn how to assemble vehicles so as to come back and become pioneer staff who will train other artisans is still on course, blaming the delay in departure of the would be trainees on the total lockdown that happened in Israel due to the surge in COVID-19 infections.
On Ibom Air, the Commissioner observed that the airline is today Nigeria’s airline of choice due to its high level of professionalism, noting that Akwa Ibom’s future and success on all aspect of its economic life is dependent on doing the right thing consistently to achieve results using International best practices.
He debunked insinuations that Ibom Air is exorbitant, stating that Ibom Air remains the cheapest and most reliable Airline in Nigeria, compared to what is obtainable in Europe or in America.